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Davydine

The Rights And Wrongs Of Rights Of Way

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I want to ask your opinions on a situaton I observed last year at the junction between the river Thurne and the river Bure. Two boats met at the junction and one skipper got very vocal and hand wavey to the other about who should give way, but I am not sure if he was right. It's bothering me, because I want to be sure what to do if I am in a similar situation. I will explain the situation and I have two questions: 

1. Who is the stand on vessel and who is the give way vessel?

2. Why?

Vessel A was traveling down the Bure from St. Bennets Abbey and turning left in to the Thurne towards Potter Heigham.

Vessel B was traveling down the Thurne, joining the Bure and heading straight on towards Acle.

Vessel A turned left in to the Bure, crossing the bows of Vessel B, they came close to colliding, but didn't.

I am not saying who did the shouting! (Well, not until you have shared your opinions!)

Thanks in advance,

David

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simple - its  up to both skippers to avoid a collision. probably by making their intentions clear to the other well in advance

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I would think that the main river had the right of way, so if you were heading towards the Thurne then give way.

Must admit I've seen alsorts of goings on at the Thurne mouth, I tend to slow down and give everyone as much room as possible with a smile and a wave. :default_icon_wave:

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No obvious rights or wrongs I don't think. Its always best to pass behind another vessel where possible. My approach is to throttle back and wait if I'm in any doubt. Possibly a case of rushing and a bit of impatience maybe? Its a shame some folks don't seem to appreciate that its supposed to be a relaxing holiday without getting involved in river rage!! Another advantage of winter cruising! :default_biggrin:

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I've always found that, if you have the tide flowing against you, it's easier to throttle back and 'give way' regardless of who has right of way.

I don't know the answer to David's question, re: 'right of way' at Bure and Thurne mouth confluence. Human nature means some people will always 'mouth off', whether they are right or wrong. If no harm is done, I tend to ignore the 'vocals' and just carry on, with a shrug and a grin.

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I'd not be too bothered as long as no collision happens - its a River system after all, not the open sea and unless something goes terribly wrong you should always have time to alter course or go astern and come to a stop.

In the situation described I would have never gone in front of the other boats bows 'just in case' they carried on.  Ease off and pass behind, as I do with sailing yachts is always better than making a dash across their bow.

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31 minutes ago, NorfolkNog said:

.... My approach is to throttle back and wait if I'm in any doubt.....

Perfectly put, couldn't agree more.

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I wasn't there but don't think it wise to cross the bow of another, especially when turning. That overtaking boat stays clear of those being overtaken is well worth remembering. In this case a simple interpretation of the port and starboard rule, e.g. give way to boats on the starboard side would seem to apply. However, if in doubt then get out of the light! Probably 95% of Broads boaters are clueless when it comes to the navigation rules!

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Thanks everyone, I should say I totally agree that it's best just to slow down and let everyone else sort themselves out, which neither boat did in this case. I also agree with Grendel that it is Both skippers responsibility to avoid a collision.

Thurne mouth is tricky in my mind because coming down the Thurne it looks as though the channel goes straight on with the Bure joining from the right, but isn't the Thurne actually the minor river joining the Bure which is the main  channel? If so, surely boats coming down the Thurne should stop, giving way to the boats on the Bure.

I know it is better to avoid the problem by slowing down. The only reason it stuck in my mind was that one skipper was so vocal, made me wonder if he was actually right!

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Effectively, both boats were altering their course at a junction, so there was no stand on vessel. How about both boats giving 2 short blasts on the horn?

"I intend altering my course to port".

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2 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

Effectively, both boats were altering their course at a junction, so there was no stand on vessel. How about both boats giving 2 short blasts on the horn?

"I intend altering my course to port".

Ah, yes, sound signals would definitely help, if people know what they mean! (Why did he sound his horn 5 times, I heard him the first time?) ;-)

They are both altering couse, yes, but doesn't the rule about giving way to the boat on the starboard side still hold true? 

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Always treated this juncture with care, as stated it’s not worth the hassle, so let others pass. That said it is Thurne/mouth that leads on to the Bure, therefore it should not be treated any differently to any of the other rivers or dykes that lead on to the Bure/main river, such as the Ant. Think of these as “t” junctions with a minor road joining a main road. 

As already said, always err on the side of caution, as not all folks are aware so it is better to be safe than sorry. 

Cheers 

Paul 

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It's quite simple.  Vessel A is the stand on vessel and has right of way.  Vessel B should give way.

However this only applies if both skippers of Vessel A and B know the 'Rules of the Road' as it is stupidly officially (Imho) called. 

The confusion arises when neither skippers know the correct rules - This is a simple one to sort out, both skippers exercise caution and make every attempt to avoid a collision

Worse - One skipper knows the 'Rules of the Road' and t'other one doesn't.  The 'Know it all' Skipper should assume that the 'Tother one does not know and again both exercise caution and make every attempt to avoid a collision.

When the RN navigational instructors sat me down in a class room, they always stated that the stand fast rule was to obey the 'Rules of the Road' when two vessels meet - Exercising gentlemanly conduct and giving way when you should not be doing so causes confusion - However that is out at sea with the big boys and the 'Should be' professionals play.  The only time one should give way when you have right of way is if you have clearly communicated with the other vessel before any change of course is made

 

Go on the David, just out of intereest Who did the shouting / Hand waving then?

Vessel A as he quite rightly had right of way and was educating vessel B.  Or was it Vessel B as he wrongly thought it was his right of way (Give way to Stbd but only with a certain vector)

It's all good fun here on our Broads.  Normally when I have to take avoiding action due to skippers getting it wrong - I just smile to mysen and enjoy it, no harm done.

Although once coming out of Wroxham down river I did get quite irate with a skipper and had to go full astern plus a lot of helm to avoid a collision - He even received a blast from 'B.A's horns. It was a real close shave.  What did I receive back? the 'Victory V' sign - Very brave of him.  Yes,  it was a private boat too

Griff

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Effectively, both boats were altering their course at a junction, so there was no stand on vessel  -  Yes there was - Minor river joining a major river -  How about both boats giving 2 short blasts on the horn?

"I intend altering my course to port".

Sound signal are all very well - I do use them myself, but how many others do?  Besides giving sound signals does not then give one the right of way.

Some car drivers think it does, on the rare occasion that BMW's and Audi's use their indicators, it is not to tell other road users which way they are going, nope it is a directive to others that they now have right of way as they have indicated

Griff

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7 hours ago, BroadAmbition said:

It's quite simple.  Vessel A is the stand on vessel and has right of way.  Vessel B should give way.

The confusion arises when neither skippers know the correct rules - This is a simple one to sort out, both skippers exercise caution and make every attempt to avoid a collision

Worse - One skipper knows the 'Rules of the Road' and t'other one doesn't.  The 'Know it all' Skipper should assume that the 'Tother one does not know and again both exercise caution and make every attempt to avoid a collision.

When the RN navigational instructors sat me down in a class room, they always stated that the stand fast rule was to obey the 'Rules of the Road' when two vessels meet - Exercising gentlemanly conduct and giving way when you should not be doing so causes confusion - However that is out at sea with the big boys and the 'Should be' professionals play.  The only time one should give way when you have right of way is if you have clearly communicated with the other vessel before any change of course is made

 

Go on the David, just out of intereest Who did the shouting / Hand waving then?

Vessel A as he quite rightly had right of way and was educating vessel B.  Or was it Vessel B as he wrongly thought it was his right of way (Give way to Stbd but only with a certain vector)

It's all good fun here on our Broads.  Normally when I have to take avoiding action due to skippers getting it wrong - I just smile to mysen and enjoy it, no harm done.

Although once coming out of Wroxham down river I did get quite irate with a skipper and had to go full astern plus a lot of helm to avoid a collision - He even received a blast from 'B.A's horns. It was a real close shave.  What did I receive back? the 'Victory V' sign - Very brave of him.  Yes,  it was a private boat too

Griff

Thanks Griff, that sums up my thinking.

FWIW, my opinion was that Vessel A should stand on because

a. Vessel B is on his port side and should give way to starboard

b Vessel B is in the minor channel, (Thurne) and was joining the major channel (Bure) and as such should give way at the junction.

It was vessel B that did the shouting and testiculating (testiculate, to wave ones hands around whilst talking bol....)

As it happens, Vessel A was behind me and Vessel B also had a pop at me, too, for going too fast, which I know I wasn't.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, I know the situation could easily be avoided and was made worse by the aggressive shouting.

Cheers,

David

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And if vessels A and B are first time hirers, and are completely unaware of any "collision regs", "rights of way", "stand ons", "stand offs", "port", "starboard"? :default_wink:. Just give way, and relax. Life's too short!

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And if vessels A and B are first time hirers, and are completely unaware of any "collision regs", "rights of way", "stand ons", "stand offs", "port", "starboard"? . Just give way, and relax. Life's too short!

Which imho is hitting the nail firmly on the head or 'That's the way to do it' (Punch and Judy)

Griff

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16 minutes ago, Regulo said:

And if vessels A and B are first time hirers, and are completely unaware of any "collision regs", "rights of way", "stand ons", "stand offs", "port", "starboard"? :default_wink:. Just give way, and relax. Life's too short!

Absolutely! It should be a relaxing time on the water!

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I had no idea that horn signals are used to communicate.

We must have confused the hell out of some people in the summer when my Grandson found the horn button and what it did. :default_biggrin:

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51 minutes ago, Wyndham said:

I had no idea that horn signals are used to communicate.

We must have confused the hell out of some people in the summer when my Grandson found the horn button and what it did. :default_biggrin:

It's the same on cars, people use the horn to communicate things about the anchor (or at least I think he said anchor...).

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The rules really are very simple...

Restored woody gives way to scruffy GRP

Clean gives way to dirty

Experience gives way to Novice

Intelligence gives way to stupidity

Gentlefolk give way to thugs

and finally … Everyone gives way to me. 

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1 hour ago, Regulo said:

And if vessels A and B are first time hirers, and are completely unaware of any "collision regs", "rights of way", "stand ons", "stand offs", "port", "starboard"? :default_wink:. Just give way, and relax. Life's too short!

And it doesn’t stop at first time hirers! I wouldn’t mind betting there are more than a few privateers that have no idea of how the horn should be used or the rights of way on the rivers. “Just give way and relax” - perfect sense. 

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